An Update from Us 14.11.2021

On Sunday 14 November: DANGER! BUT FOR HOW MUCH LONGER? Complete relaxations are in force. Adults double-vaccinated 14 days before a Covid contact & children in contact don’t have to isolate but are recommended to take a PCR test. Everyone PCR testing positive is legally required to self-isolate.

Latest data: In SWF we had 59 Covid cases in the week ended (w/e) 8 November, up from our lowest of 55 during last week, down from 72 in the previous week (p/w) and 130 the p/w which was the highest since 8 January. At present SWF is one of the worst places for infections in Essex. We also have a lot of other bad colds, flu and respiratory illnesses.

In w/e 13 November there were 256,207 (p/w255,241) UK Covid positive tests, 1,092 (p/w1,186) deaths, and in w/e 9 November 6,334 (p/w7,241) patients admitted to hospitals.

Recently the Health Secretary said we must get booster jabs to be able to enjoy Christmas. Prof Jonathan Van Tam (JVT) said: there are hard months to come this winter and the pandemic isn’t over yet. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said: Europe is at the epicentre of Covid; the continent could see half a million more deaths by February; tactics must change from reacting to surges to preventing them from happening. Relaxing public health measures and insufficient vaccine take-up result in rising infections.

Commentators have said that our apparent drop in infections may have been affected by less testing and half term. This week we may have seen the bottom of the drop and start of another rise in Covid infections. The hospitalisations, deaths and other respiratory illnesses are significant.

Vaccination is a big help. But why isn’t everyone having them? A large majority of deaths are unvaccinated people. Guidance says: ventilate indoor meetings; wear face masks in crowded & enclosed spaces; get vaccinated; LTF test regularly. It’s not happening and we’re seeing consequences. In our community and country many people are ill and out of action, creating shortages and supply problems in many spheres, crippling activities.

The Government has Plans A & B for the winter. Being advocated/considered: wear masks travelling, indoors & and at enclosed activities; socially distance; work at home; re-introduce bubbles; restrictions on gatherings, including perhaps at Christmas.

We want relaxations to last as long as possible; and to safeguard our NHS, education and economy. It’s up to us. PLEASE REMAIN CAUTIOUS AND MAINTAIN OUR STANDARDS OF RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER. Some elective surgery and referral appointments are being postponed. Our ambulance service, GPs and hospitals are under severe pressure. Some Essex hospitals have suspended visiting and say don’t attend A&E unless life is threatened. Our Ambulance Service call handling system crashed one afternoon this week.

Everyone non-symptomatic is advised to test regularly.

SWF Library is distributing free LFT self-testing kits when the Library is open (Tuesdays 0845-1900, Wednesdays 0845-1300, Thursdays & Fridays 0845-1730 & Saturdays 0900-1700; closed Sundays & Mondays). You can also get them from pharmacies and they can be ordered online at https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests . Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs) are quick and easy to use. PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests are mainly for people with Covid symptoms. Covid Drive-through testing sites are at Sandon Park & Ride and Blackwater Leisure Centre (Maldon). PCR home tests and appointments can be booked online at https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test ; if you can’t order or book online, call 119.

SWF Health & Social Care Group is working with the Town’s GPs & Pharmacists. Since March 2020 we’ve delivered over 9150 tasks.

Information about mass vaccination centres and hospitals is at: https://eput.nhs.uk/news-events/coronavirus/coronavirus-vaccine/ . SWF has a mass vaccination hub at Tylers Ride which operates from time to time. Covid vaccinations can be booked online at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/ or on 119.

From November 2021 you can get a Covid vaccine from a walk-in site without an appointment. You can use a walk-in site to get:

  • a 1st dose if you or your child are aged 12 or over
  • a 2nd dose if you’re eligible and it’s been 8 weeks since your 1st dose
  • a booster dose if you’re eligible and it’s been 6 months (182 days) since your 2nd dose.

Full information, including the ability to find a walk-in vaccination site, is at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/find-a-walk-in-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-site/ .

Covid vaccinations for 12-15 year olds are also delivered by the school-based programme. Third Primary Doses for patients at very high risk from a low immune system are by NHS invitation only. NHS invitations for Boosters are also being sent by GPs; see https://www.essexcovidvaccine.nhs.uk/news/nhs-begins-covid-19-booster-vaccination-campaign/ . Whilst you can book a booster vaccination 5 months after your 2nd jab the appointment for the booster must be at least 6 months after your 2nd jab. Flu vaccinations are by GP invitation and can also be booked with pharmacies offering this service.

Ring 999 for life-threatening emergencies. Ring 111 to book other A&E attendance slots at any time or for all other out of hours’ services.

If you need to contact GPs at CVMC for non-urgent or other routine matters please don’t ring but email your practice greenwood.meds@nhs.net or kingsway.receptionist@nhs.net ; please don’t contact them about hospital appointments for which you have been referred but ring the Central Referral Service on 0300 123 0771 or Broomfield Hospital Appointment Line on 01245 123 0771 as the Practices can’t provide hospital appointment details.

We provide health & social care support, information and signposting to patients & people in SWF and surrounds, especially those at risk, isolating, staying at home, and without local support. Information is on our website https://swfhealthsocial.co.uk/ . Contact us with queries on swfhealthsocial@outlook.com ; if you don’t have internet access leave a voicemail on 01245 322079 which is monitored daily.

Hands-Face-Space; stay safe, protect our NHS, save lives.